Tulane students Gabby Posses and Taylor Johnson weren’t about to miss their second chance to snag tickets for the unveiling of Yulman Stadium.
Two days after Green Wave officials said the school sold its full allotment of 4,300 student tickets for Tulane’s Sept. 6 home opener against Georgia Tech , it announced 500 additional student seats were being made available on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.
That’s when Johnson and Posses knew it would take some early planning to ensure their spot. The pair, who both attend the School of Science and Engineering, took the first spot in line at 4 a.m.
“Two of my sisters go to Alabama and my mom is an obnoxiously big football fan and she said I better do what Duke basketball does and camp out with a tent, but thankfully it wasn’t that extreme,” Posess said. “At least we know we are going to get in now.”
When the first round of student tickets opened on Monday, a steady stream of people walked from the heart of campus down to the Wilson Center. But as momentum picked up and the news of a potential sellout trickled across campus, crowds escalated until the supply was depleted by Tuesday afternoon.
It caught many Tulane students off guard, considering the Green Wave hadn’t filled the school’s massive student section in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in recent memory.
“We were going to go get them on Tuesday after class, but as I’m sitting in class getting ready to leave, my friend texted me and said they were completely sold out and there’s nothing left,” Taylor Johnson . “I said, ‘you have to be kidding!’ Then they announced they’re doing 500 more and I made sure to be sure to be here because I really want to go to the game."
Johnson and Posses weren’t alone.
By 7 a.m. more than 50 students had joined them in line. By 7:30 the line doubled and snaked all the way to the Yulman Stadium plaza, as construction workers dodged them to insert landscaping and put finishing touches on the building’s interior.
When the gates finally opened at 8:30, the line of students more than tripled, not stopping until it formed down the entire block, past the Hertz Center.
It was a sight not seen at Tulane in more than 20 years, when demand was high for the limited available seating in Fogelman Arena during the Green Wave’s run as a nationally-ranked basketball team.
“The first thing I thought when I saw this was that it is totally blowing my mind,” said Tulane medical student Alex Bernadett, who handed out muffins and snacks to those waiting in line. “Coming from 2008, when I started here, to now, is a complete 180. The fact the freshmen are going to do this for their first game instead of going to the Superdome, is just great to think about because it will help us build and keep them coming back.”
AMERICAN RELEASES MEN’S HOOPS SCHEDULE
Tulane’s inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference took another step toward reality on Thursday, when the league released dates and television broadcasts for its conference games.
The Green Wave, who completed its final season in Conference USA with a 17-17, 8-8 record, will be nationally televised in every conference game for the first time in school history as coach Ed Conroy enters his fifth season in New Orleans.
However, despite a wide-ranging broadcast deal between The American and ESPN, Tulane will not be showcased on either ESPN or ESPN2. Instead, the Green Wave will play nine games on ESPN News, four on the CBS Sports Network, three on ESPNU and are featured just twice on the online-only ESPN3.
Highlights include its first ever AAC game on Dec. 31 at East Carolina, followed by a trip to former C-USA stalwart Memphis on Jan. 4.
Tulane tussles twice with reigning national champion Connecticut. First at Devlin Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m., then in Connecticut on Feb. 22.
The season will conclude at The American Men’s Basketball Championships held March 12-15 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.